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296 .M. Riddle Answered by Gaius.
Then they all gave good heed, .# what good Gaius would say ; so he sat still a while, and then thus replied:
“He who thus bestows his goods upon the poor,
Then said Joseph, “I dare say, Sir, I did not think you could have found it out.” ‘Oh,' said Gaius, “I have been trained up in this way a great while : nothing teaches like experience; I have learned of my Lord to be kind; and have found by experience, that I have gained thereby. “There is that scattereth, and yet increaseth; and there is that withholdeth more than is meet, but it tendeth to poverty:” “There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing : there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.” Then Samuel whispered to Christiana, his mother, and said, ‘Mother, this is a very good man's house; let us stay here a good while, and let my brother Matthew be married here to Mercy before we go any further.” The which Gaius the host overhearing, said, “With a very good will, my child.” So they staid here more than a month, and Mercy was given to Rio to wife. While they staid here, Mercy, as her custom was, would be making coats and garments to give to the poor, by which she brought up a very good report upon Pilgrims. (e) But to return again to our story. After supper the lads desired a bed, for they were weary with travelling : then Gaius called, to shew them their chamber; but, said Mercy, ‘I will have them to bed.” So she had them to bed, and they slept well ; but the rest sat up all night; for Gaius and they were such suitable company, that they could not tell how to part. Then after much talk of their Lord, themselves, and their journey, old Mr. Honest, (he that put forth the riddle to o began to nod. Then said Great-heart, “What, Sir, you begin to be drowsy come, rub up, now here is a riddle for you.” Then said Mr. Honest, ‘Let us hear it.” * Prov, xi. 24. xiii. 7.
(e) If our love to sinners be only shewn by seeking their spiritual good, it will be eon. sidered as a mere bigoted desire to proselyte them to our sect or party; but uniform, dili. gent, and expensive endeavours to relieve their temporal wants are intelligible to every man, and bring a good report on the profession of the gospel.”
* Matt, v. 16.
.4 Riddle Answered by Honest, 297 Then said Mr. Great-heart,
‘He that will kill, must first be overcome: Who live abroad would, first must die at home.” “Ha!” said Mr. Honest, “it is a hard one, hard to expound, and harder to practise. But come, landlord,” said he, “I will if you please, leave my part to you; do you expound it, and I will hear what you say.” ‘No,' said Gaius, ‘it was put to you, and it is expected you should answer it.” Then said the old gentleman, ‘He first by grace must conquer'd be, That sin would mortify : Who, that he lives, would convince me, Unto himself must die.” ‘It is right,” said Gaius; good doctrine and experience teach this. For, until grace displays itself, and overcomes the soul with its glory, it is altogether without heart to opÉ. sin : besides, if sin is Satan’s cords, by which the soul ies bound, how should it make resistance, before it is loosed from that infirmity P (f) Nor will any, that knows either reason or grace, believe that such a man can be a living monument of grace, that is a slave to his own corruption.—And now it comes in my mind I will tell you a story worth the hearing—There were two men that went on pilgrimage, the one began when he was young, the other when he was old ; the young man had strong, corruptions to grapple with, the old man’s were weak with the decays of nature : the young man trode his steps as even as did the old one, and was every way as light as he who now, or which of them, had their graces shining clearest, since both seemed to be alike P’ Hon. The young man's, doubtless. For that which heads it against the greatest opposition gives best demonstration that it is strongest; especially when it also holdeth pace with that that meets not with half so much ; as to be sure old age does not.—Besides, I have observed, that old men have blossed themselves with this mistake; namely, taking the decays of nature for a gracious conquest over corruptions, and so have been apt to beguile themselves. Indeed, old men, that are gracious, are best able to give advice to them
(f) The gracious operations of the Holy Spirit are here meant. These overcome our juatural pride, love of sin, and aversion from God and religion ; and then we repent, believe in christ, are justified by faith, mortify sin, die to ourselves, and live to God in righteou" ness and true boliness, o
398 Question proposed by Honest answered.
that are young, because they have seen most of the emptiness of things; but yet, for an old and a young man to set out both together, the young one has the advantage of the fairest discovery of a wo of grace within him, though the old man's corruptions are naturally the weakest, (g) Thus they sat talking till break of day. Now when the family was up, Christiana bid her son, James that he should read a chapter; so he read the fifty-third of Isaiah. When he had done, Mr. Honest asked, Why it was said that the Saviour is said to come “out of a dry ground ;” and also that he had “no form or comeliness in him P” Then said Mr. Great-heart, To the first, I answer, because the church of the Jews, of which Christ came, had then lost almost all the sap and spirit of religion. To the second, I say, the words are spoken in the person of the unbeliever, who, because they want the eye that can see into our Prince's heart, therefore they judge of him by the meanness of his outside. Just like those that know not that precious stones are covered over with a homely crust; who when they have found one, because they know not what they have found, cast it again away, as men do a common stone. “Well,” said Gaius, “now you are here, and since, as I know, Mr. Great-heart is good at his weapons, if you please, after we have refreshed ourselves, we will walk into the fields, to see if we can do any good. About a mile from hence, there is one Slay-good, a Giant, that does much annoy the King's highway in these parts; and I know whereabout his
(g) Old age affords great advantages in overcoming some corrupt propensities: yet habits of indulgence often more than counterbalance the decays of nature; and avarice, suspicion and peevishness, with other evils, gather strength as men advance in years. It is therefore in some particulars only, that age has the advantage over youth : and as some old men imagine that they have renounced sin, because they are no longer capable of committing the crimes in which they once lived; so there are young men, who presume that they shall live to be old, and imagine that repentance will then be comparatively easy to them : whereas sin, in one form or other, gathers strength and establishes its dominion, as long as it is permitted to reign in the soul. The instruction, however, that is here conveyed, is very important, provided it be properly understood ; for if we do not estimate the advantages of our situation, we cannot determine how far external amendment results from internal renovation. During tedious diseases, or in the immediate prospect of death, men often feel very indifferent to the world, set against sin, disinclined to former indulgencies, and earnest about solvation yet returning health, business, company, and temptation terminate such promising appearances. Many suppose themselves to be very good tempered, while every one studies to oblige them ; yet provocation excites vehement anger and resentment in their breast : nay, riches and honour while at a great distance seem to have no charios for those, who are powerfully attracted by their magnetical influence, when placed within their reach
Great-heart kills Giant Slay-good. 299
haunt is : he is master of a number of thieves : it would be well if we could clear these parts of him.” So they consented, and went, Mr. Great-heart with his sword, helmet, and shield, and the rest with spears and staves. When they came to the place, where he was, they found him with one Feeble-mind in his hand, whom his servants had brought unto him, having, taken him in the way. Now the Giant was rifling him, with a purpose, after that, to pick his bones; for he was of the nature of flesh-eaters. Well, so soon as he saw Mr. Great-heart and his friends at the umouth of his cave, with their weapons, he demanded what they wanted. Gr.- } We want thee, for we are come to revenge the quarrels of the many that thou hast slain of the Pilgrims, when thou hast dragged them out of the King's high-way; wherefore come out of thy cave.—So he armed himself, and came out; and to the battle they went, and fought for above an hour, and then stood still to take wind. Then said the Giant, “Why are you here on my ground P’ Gr.-H. To revenge the blood of Pilgrims, as I also told thee before.--So they went to it again, and the Giant made Mr. Great-heart give back; but he came up again, and in the greatness of his mind he let fly with such stoutness at the Giant's head and sides, that he made him let his weapon fall out of his hand ; so he smote and slew him, and cut off his head, and brought it away to the Inn. He also took Feeblemind the Pilgrim, and brought him with him to his lodgings. When they were come home, they shewed his head to i. family, and set it up, as they . done others before, for a terror to those that shall attempt to do as he, hereafter. (h)
(h) The refreshment of divine consolations, and Christian fellowship, is intended to prepare us for vigorously maintaining the good fight of faith ; not only against the enemies of our own souls, but also against the opposers of our holy religion, according to the talents entrusted to us, and the duties of our several stations. We are soldiers belonging to onc great army under the command of the Captain of our salvation ; and we ought to strive against sin, and “contend for the faith once delivered to the saints,” by our profession, cxample, prayers, converse, and every other method authorized by the word of God. All that love the Lord are our brethren ; and every thing that can mislead, dismay, or hinder any of them, should be considered as an adversary to the common cause; avid we should eounteract with meekness, but with firmness and decision, all the endeavours of those, who obstruct men in the ways of the Lord, or turn them aside into by-paths—It does not however clearly appear what particular description of opposers were represented by Slay-good : whether the author had in view certain selfish and maligunt persecutors, who intimidated professors by fines and imprisonment, to the hazard of their lives, or of their souls; or some plausible heretics, who “taught things which they ought not, for filthy lucre's sake," to the
300 Feeble-mind’s decount of himself,
Then they asked Mr. Feeble-mind, how he fell into his hands :
Then said the poor man, “I am a .. man, as you see, and because death did usually once a day knock at my door, I thought I should never be well at home : so I betook myself to a Pilgrim's life; and have travelled hither from the town of Uncertain, where I and my father were born. I am a man of no strength at all of body, nor yet of mind; but would, if I could, though I can but crawl, spend my life in the Pilgrim's way.—When I came at the Gate that is at the head of the way, the Lord of that place did entertain me freely; neither objected he against my weakly looks, nor against my feeble mind; but gave me such things as were necessary for my journey, and bid me hope to the end.— When I came to the house of the Interpreter, I received much kindness there; and because the Hill of Difficulty was judged too hard for me, I was carried up that by one of his servants.-Indeed I have found much relief from Pilgrims, though none was willing to go softly as I am forced to do : yet still as they caume on, they bid me be of good cheer, and said, that it was the will of their Lord, that “comfort” should be given “to the feeble-minded ;” and so went on their own pace.—When I was come to Assault-lane, then this Giant met with me, and bid me prepare for an encounter; but alas ! feeble one that I was I had more need of a cordial : so he came up and took me. I conceived he should not kill me: also when he had gotten me into his den, since I went not with him willingly, I believed I should come out alive again; for I have heard, that not any Pilgrim, that is taken captive by violent hands, if he keepsheart-whole towards his Master, is, by the laws of Providence, to die by the hand of the enemy. Robbed I looked to be, and robbed to be sure I am ; but I am, as you see, escaped with life, for the which I thank my King as author, and you as the means. Other brunts I also look for; but this I have resolved on, to wit, to run when I can, to go when I cannot run, and to creep when I cannot go. As to the main, I thank him that loved me, I am
* 1 Thess, v. 14.
total ruin of many that seemed hopeful, and the great detriment of others who were weak in faith and unestablished in judgment. The conflict seems merely to denote the efforts, which Christians should make, to prevent the effect of such opposition and delusion, and to remove such occasions of mischief out of the way; as also to shew, that the strong in faith are Peculiarly called to these services, and ought not to shrink from hardship, danger, and suffering in so goed a cause.